Eight teams of aspiring Food Truck owners arrive in Long Beach, Calif., to kick off this season's Great Food Truck Race: Lighthouse to Lighthouse. Host Tyler Florence welcomes the teams and presents them with the food trucks of their dreams and matching cars. The teams are then sent directly to the toughest, most cutthroat place in the food truck universe: the place where it all started, Los Angeles. These rookies learn quickly that running a food truck is much harder than it looks, and the seven surviving teams realize that they are in for the ride of their lives.
The seven remaining teams roll into Flagstaff, Ariz., determined to get the hang of the food truck game. Just when things start to settle down, Tyler springs a Truck Stop cooking challenge on them: Create a dish featuring the local delicacy prickly pear cactus. Celebrity Chef Beau MacMillan judges the dishes and delivers a game-changing prize -- but Tyler is not done. On Sunday, he tells the teams to go vegan, and the teams scramble again to stay above water.
The teams are welcomed to Amarillo, Texas, at the stadium of the Amarillo Sox, a minor league baseball team. Tyler announces this week's Truck Stop: The teams must add a ballpark-inspired special to their menu. Top ballpark concessionaire John Ciarrachi judges the dishes and awards the winner a mystery key. On Sunday, Tyler calls the teams with their Speed Bump -- their trucks are all immobilized by a parking enforcement boot. But the team that won the Truck Stop realizes they've already won the key to unlock their vehicle -- and sell food exclusively at tonight's ballgame!
The five remaining teams roll into Fayetteville, Ark., a college town bustling with teenagers. Their Truck Stop Challenge is targeted at this audience as they must create an amazing breakfast dish using Kellogg's Pop Tarts. One of the nation's top teen chefs, Jeremy Salamon, stops by the trucks to taste their creations and award a prize. After the breakfast shift, Tyler calls with a major Speed Bump. He shuts the trucks down completely until the late night shift. The teams then have to scrape together sales overnight, ending well after the sun comes up.
The final four trucks head to the heart of the south in Nashville. For their Truck Stop Challenge, the teams have to create a down-home country style picnic for country music stars Joey & Rory. The competition shakes up when Tyler reveals the next Speed Bump: to simulate what happens when employees don't show up or call in sick, Tyler tells the teams that two members must sit out and they must train two students from the Art Institutes Culinary School to work on the truck.
The final three teams roll into Cleveland. In the spirit of Outback Steakhouse's famous Bloomin' Onion, the remaining teams are challenged to take an everyday vegetable, a ripe Ohio tomato, and create a delectable appetizer. Outback Co-Founder and Executive Chef Tim Gannon visits the trucks to sample the food and determines the winner ... and the losers suffer through a "punishment" at a restaurant owned by a previous Great Food Truck Race contestant! Tyler also mixes things up with a hilarious Speed Bump: the teams must transfer their entire operation to a hot dog cart and continue to make sales on foot.
The final two teams race to Boston to begin selling, and in the middle of their shift, Tyler calls and tells the teams they must add a true blue New England lobster dish to their menu. Two authentic lobstermen taste the dishes and award the winner a huge cash advantage and a head start ... to Portland, Maine, where the teams will sell next. The losing team stays behind and "helps" a local restaurant. On Sunday, the teams sell head to head in Portland, but Tyler calls again and sends them to tiny Lubec, Maine where they have to fight for every sale. Finally, Tyler calls once more to meet him at the West Quoddy Lighthouse, the easternmost point of the United States. When the teams arrive, Tyler counts their money in front of them ... and the winner drives away in their new food truck, along with $50,000 to get their business started.